As we have affirmed in other areas of this site we believe that theology matters. The following is from pastor Peter Hiett, author and theologian and former pastor of Lookout Mountain Community Church in Colorado (Evangelical Presbyterian Church). He now pastors The Sanctuary Downtown of Denver. We feel it captures our vision to filter all things through the Living Word who is Christ, the Living Logos, the Point, Purpose and End of all things.
Theology. That’s kind of a cold, oppressive and scary word—”Theology.” People say stuff like:
- Worship God, not theology
- Spirituality is all about love, not theology
- Fight for Jesus, not your theology
The sentiment in each of those statements is beautiful and true…
IF by “theology” we mean a list, law, set of intellectual propositions about God… that is
IF by “theology” we mean some “knowledge of good and evil” that we acquired somewhere through our own effort in order to make ourselves more godly.
Actually… if that is what we mean by “theology” (list, law, or knowledge we have “taken”), theology is far worse than just a cold and heartless word. And we should probably drop it like a hot potato full of sin… original sin!
But take another look at the word. Theology comes from two words in Greek; “Theos” (which means “God”) and “Logos” (which means “Word”). So “theology” literally means “God Word” or “Word of God.” Your Theology is your “Word of God.”
According to Scripture Jesus is the Word of God.
So what’s your “Word of God?” Is it something you conquer and use for your own purposes; something you have nailed down… perhaps nailed to a tree; the product of your “work”?
…What’s your “Word of God?” Is it something that you conquer or something that’s conquered you and uses you; something that’s risen from the dead… not life you’ve taken, but life that’s given? Grace?
According to Scripture, “The Word of God” became flesh and dwelt among us, full of Grace and Truth. Out of jealously and in an effort to control and use Him for our own purposes, we took His life on the tree. And yet, He gave his life on the tree, body broken and blood shed—such that the tree of death (the cross) became the tree of life (the cross). He gave His Life to us and rose from the dead. He is our “theology.”
Your Theology matters.
Your “Word of God” matters.
He is God. He reveals God. He is the commandment of God. And He saves you.
Your theology is your picture of God. If it’s dead, you’re dead.
If it’s (He’s) alive, you’re alive.
Living Theology in you is Christ in you. It’s faith.
Jesus said, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.”
He also said, “Love your enemies and do good… and you will be sons of the Most High, for He is kind to the ungrateful and evil. Be merciful as your Father is merciful.”
How is our Father Merciful? …Does He endlessly torture his enemies, the ungrateful and the evil?
How is our Father Merciful? …The answer is to define our every action.
How is our Father Merciful? …That’s a theological question.
How is our Father Merciful? …The answer really matters.
How is our Father Merciful? Answer: “Jesus Christ and him crucified.” Not simply an idea, list or law, but a story, a person, a presence in our lives.
He is a risen presence in our lives and His story is recorded in Scripture. Scripture, which He said, “cannot be broken.” And yet it must be “revealed.” Through His Spirit, Christ reveals the meaning of Scripture, just as he revealed it to the disciples on the road to Emmaus that first Easter long ago.
Well you see, our theology tells us what God our Heavenly Father is like.
And that faith—the Word of God in us—that Faith in our Heavenly Father, makes us who we are.
In other words, Jesus tells us what God is like and Jesus makes us who we truly are.
Jesus is the Logos of Theos, the Word of God. Theology matters.
I hope you see that bad theology, (which is really not theology)… bad theology is the crucifixion of Christ; the death of Love; it’s using lists and laws to justify the self and condemn others.
But real theology is Worship, real theology is Love, real theology is Jesus… in us.
Little children can “do it.” Egghead theologians can “do it.” We each must “do it.”
We each must exercise Faith in our Heavenly Father. That’s how we become who we truly are.
Peter Hiett, The Sanctuary